Professional associations in the health industry: Factors affecting female executive participation

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Purpose: This national study of 540 executives in the health industry was designed to examine organizational factors which influenced participation of male and female executives in their professional associations. Instrumental and expressive factors which influenced association membership were also analyzed by gender to assess preferences for specific membership benefits.

Design/methodology/approach: Survey methodology was used in this study with questionnaires mailed to 1,680 executives in the US resulting in a response rate of 32.1 percent. Dreher and Ash's mentoring scale was used to analyze preference for specific instrumental and expressive benefits.

Findings: Dues posed an organizational barrier to participation in a professional association for female executives. Gender differences also influenced the type of instrumental and expressive benefits desired by executives.

Research limitations/implications: Future studies should explore multiple association relationships to assess if there are structural or professional factors which contribute to particular network constellations.

Originality/value: Few studies focused on organizational barriers or key benefits that may affect participation in professional associations.






This article is the authors' final published version in Women in Management Review, Volume 21, Issue 5, July 2006, Pages 365-375.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1108/09649420610676181. Copyright © Emerald Publishing Limited